Majek Fashek, one of the biggest names in Nigerian reggae, has died at the age of 57.
His manager Omenka Uzoma confirmed the news to the BBC, and said in a video circulated on Instagram: “It is true, the legend has gone to meet with the Lord.
“But at this time I want to say that we should all celebrate his achievements. He has done a lot for Nigeria, Africa.”
Fashek, full name Majekodunmi Fasheke, died in his sleep in New York City on Monday (June 1) where he had been battling an unspecified illness.
Initially going by the stage name Rajesh Kanal, Fashek began his career as part of the trio Jastix before releasing his breakout solo hit in Nigeria, 1988’s ‘Send Down The Rain’, and its parent album ‘Prisoner Of Conscience’.
After becoming the first African musician to sign to Interscope Records in 1990, he released two acclaimed albums, ‘So Long Too Long’ and ‘Spirit Of Love’, the following year.
The title track from ‘So Long Too Long’, an anti-Apartheid anthem, gained Fashek wider recognition across Africa and beyond. This included a guest performance on Late Night with David Letterman in the US in 1992.
Fashek also worked with a number of high-profile musicians during his career, including Jamaican reggae legend Jimmy Cliff, Tracy Chapman and Snoop Dogg.
In 2015, it was reported that Fashek had been declared bankrupt and entered a drug rehabilitation centre in Nigeria’s capital Abuja. He later recovered and returned to music.
Last September he was taken critically ill in London, which led to false rumours of his death. He is survived by four children with his ex-wife Rita Fashek.